Failing to pay on time is guaranteed to affect your personal credit rating. When the effects are exacerbated by bankruptcies or repossessions, they are even more damaging. Like most other derogatory remarks on your reports, repos have a lifespan of seven years. So, how many points can you expect to lose?
Most institutions in the United States look at FICO or VantageScore. These assessment models have many similarities, and they both rate consumers on a scale from 300 to 850. The total number of points affects many spheres of life.
Lenders, insurance companies, landlords and even recruiters all look at credit scores to determine if an applicant is creditworthy. Just over 1% of Americans fall into the excellent category from 800 to 850. Generally, you need around 620-650 points to qualify for a loan.
A single repossession may cause a drop of 50-150 points. As it will tarnish your score for many years, you should make every effort to prevent it from appearing and remove a repossession on your credit report if it is false. Consumers are advised to negotiate with their lender as soon as they realize they cannot meet the next due date. You may be able to agree on a deal that will not hurt your score.
- After a legit repossession, you can follow these tips to improve your credit through careful budgeting and the diligent payments.
- If the repossession entry is false, you may have it removed under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This requires evidence and a formal dispute letter. To save time and effort, enlist the help of one of the many credit repair companies in the US. These services are available in all 50 states, as mistakes are quite common — on average, a third of Americans have one or more errors in their reports.
If the Repo Is Voluntary
You may expect a drop of as many as 100 points, as late payments will still drag your status down. All types of repossession expire in seven years. They have a serious effect on your personal rating, which determines your eligibility for loans, apartments, insurance policies, and jobs.
Score Increase Following Repo Removal
If you are able to dispute the repo successfully, you may gain 100-150 points. This is a substantial rise. Not only will your score jump, but you will also avoid prolonged negative consequences. Unless the information is false or flawed, there is no way to remove it until it expires naturally in seven years. However, you may adjust other elements of the calculation to get a boost.
Unlike repair, credit rebuilding allows you to generate positive history, rather than correct past records. To find the best techniques, you need to understand how the scoring works. For example, FICO prioritizes timely payments, as this is the single most influential factor determining 35% of the score. The total amount you owe, including credit utilization, accounts for 30%, while the length of history overall adds 15%. Finally, the credit mix and new accounts add 10% each.
To achieve a better score, you should be diligent with all current obligations, use as little credit as possible, and take other measures. Here are the top five ways to improve your reliability in the eyes of banks, insurers, landlords, and employers:
- Never Miss Another Due Date
As we have shown, making payments on time is an absolute must. Set up automatic reminders and/or transfers to avoid falling behind on payments. If you are just a few days late, contact the lender immediately.
Financial institutions follow a strict reporting cycle, and payments are usually reported as missed when they are 30 days overdue. If you act quickly and give valid reasons for the delay, the lender may agree to let you off one or two times.
- Adjust Balances and/or Limits
The proportion between all balances and limits across your credit card accounts should not exceed 30%, and some sources even cite 10% as the mandatory threshold. This means that a holder of five cards with a total limit of $9,000 may use no more than $3,000 or $900. Paying off the balances is an obvious solution, but not everyone can afford it.
Fortunately, you may work with the second element of the equation — limits. By extending the current limit or getting a new credit card from another issuer, you will boost the size of available credit and bring down the ratio. Finally, you may ask to be accepted as an authorized user on someone else’s account. If you have a friend or family member with a flawless credit past and they agree to do you a favor, their limit will also work to your advantage.
- Pay More Often
As lenders report to bureaus based on their specific cycle (usually, every month) you can achieve more by making more frequent payments. As soon as you have some spare cash, use it to cover your balance.
- Add More Information
Experian Boost is a free service from one of the major credit bureaus. It lets you add your utility payments, Netflix subscription, phone bills, and other information. These new entries on your report may add up to 12 points on average.
Can I Get an Auto Loan After a Repo?
Yes, you may be able to do this, but do not be in a rush. With a repo on your records, lenders will be highly suspicious of your application. If you do get approved, the interest rate will be much higher, which means the loan will be more expensive. In short, your options will be limited until the score rises again.
A repossession reflects a failure to meet financial obligations, which is the single most damaging factor for both FICO and VantageScore. It deducts 50-150 points from the score. Negotiate with your lender to find a solution, or dispute the repo if it is invalid.
To correct a skewed score as soon as possible, hire a credit repair company with a high BBB rating. It will protect your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and handle disputes on your behalf. The experts will collect evidence to show that the repossession is false and send convincing dispute letters, so the bureau or bureaus eliminate the derogatory marks.